Sunday, 28 June 2015

Where Have I Been?

Yes, it's true that I haven't been posting in the last four months. I am currently closed to reviews (and seriously, check my status before sending a request). I have a backlog of books to review. I'm not currently reading YA lit because I really can't keep adding to the backlog.

What has kept me from posting?

I got a new job, in a library! I am in another medical library, though I also staff the patient library, and this is my favourite location because I get to help patients find oncology information.


But I moved to a new city, by myself.


So I've been navigating starting a new job, ending an old job (which was an experience all of its own!), living in a new (not-so-awesome city), and getting an apartment...and getting another apartment because of a long list of reasons. I also got some fantastic input from an agent about my book, so I'm trying to work on that.

I knocked out two posts today, but I still have a few, including:

The Book of Ivy (audio book);
The Lonely;
The Ocean at the End of the Lane; and
The Chaos Walking Trilogy.

One could say, "Maybe if you didn't binge watch the entire series to date of Game of Thrones, or the third season of Vikings, or the entire series of Sons of Anarchy, you'd have more time to review."

Maybe. I might even say that is true.

Insurgent Film Review

The Divergent Trilogy Reviews

The Divergent Film Reviews

Way back in March when Insurgent was in theatres, I went with a teen and another adult to see it. We didn't see it in 3D, and I don't mind, as I hate putting 3D glasses over my regular glasses (and I don't see very far with my contacts). Though there were a few scenes that would have been very cool in 3D, I don't think I missed much. This "review" is more some of my quick notes that I made when I saw the film .

Spoilers Ahead!
The Not So Good or Changes
  • Marcus fell off the face of the film. He was important in the book, and the film was just like, nope.
  • Johanna fell off the face of the film. She was involved throughout the book, but she just stays home, I guess.
  • Amity isn't so strict on wearing their faction colours (according to the internet anyway), but they don't even try. 
  • Where is the drug bread?!
  • Four mom is not supposed to be white (according to Roth, she's a "POC"). The film lost a huge aspect that could have enriched the film.
Four's mom is really pretty, though.
  • The hard drive from Insurgent has been replaced…with a box that has to be unlocked via simulations. This makes the film much more like a video game. I do have to say that with the previous film, that she could manipulate the simulations, there is a natural progression between the films.
The magic box.
  • The one who delivers the final message to the society…is not named. Of course, the next book is being split between two films, so they have lots of time to "discover" the identity. 
  • Jeanine is killed by someone different. In the film, to me, it makes more sense. In the book, yeah, it's satisfying, but considering all that Jeanine has done, the film did it right. It will have huge implications for the next two films.
  • Still no Edward (but see my note at the end of this review).
  • In the book, she cuts her hair shoulder length, by herself. In the film, she gives herself a perfect close cut using her reflection in a window. The other adult we went with is a male, and he was like, wow, she did the back really well. 
Got a window? That's all you need!
Who needs hairdressers? I like the front btw, just not...anything
else from it.
The Good

  •   The picnic table!

I wish I had a better picture of this!
  • The film had a lot of action, which the book didn't have much of. 
  • Tris got a few more tattoos. In Divergent, she got more than the bird tattoos. However, when did she get these? It’s doubtful that Amity has tattoo shacks in between the vegetable gardens and the stables.

That's all I got for Insurgent. BUT I want to mention that a complaint I had with the Divergent film was that the butter knife scene was absent. The scene was filmed and didn't make the final cut. I put a link in my original film, but I'll also post it here: 

Cuba Trip

My partner and I recently went to Cuba (07 Feb 2015 -- 14 Feb 2015). For those who are interested, I'm posting pictures. The best pictures I have are of us together, but since I don't want to expose my favourite person to the internet at this point in time, I'll leave those out (for the time being).

Most days looked like this.At home in Canada, it was -45. In Veradero, it was 25. As in, +25.

We did have some days like this. It rained at night and winds
picked up during the day. We were red flagged one afternoon and
 had to come out of the water and drink on the beach instead.

There were so many flowers in Cuba. On shrubs and trees.
There were so many unique trees, and we managed to spot a
few humming birds.

Lizards like these little guys are common in Cuba!
They are like our squirrels.

This is a salamander that lived in the ceiling just outside of our room.
Those holes in the wall to the left is where he lives.

The cathedral in Habana.

This is Hotel Ambos Mundos, and this is where Ernest Hemingway
stayed for seven years.

The Ambrosio cave. It has cave paintings and bats.
In this picture they are hanging from the ceiling and flying around.

A huddle of bats. 
The plant life in Cuba was interesting. Flowering trees,
palm trees, and cacti.

There were lots of chickens (and chicks!) just hanging around
the streets. Personally, I love them, but I had to keep
myself from trying to pick them up.

With an waterproof camera (a cheap disposable camera
with a waterproof case) we went snorkeling, which
has been a dream of mine for years. We went with a
company that specializes in snorkeling and
scuba diving. 

These stripy guys were adorable. 

It's hard to see, but there was this wall of blue fish that traveled around us. These were my favourite.

Underwater exploration fascinates me. 

Cuba was a beautiful place. As much as I want to see
everything else the world has to offer, I'd
definitely go again.
Not so nice things: I was stung by small jelly fish (and no one else was), and someone stole the small bills out of my partner's wallet during our snorkeling trip. We suspect who did it, but there wasn't much we could do without ruining the rest of our trip.

Also, I'd like to mention that in Cuba, you should bring your own toilet paper. No one believes me when I say this. If you don't you'll be paying attendants per square. We were in a nice resort, and you couldn't count on there being toilet paper in the washrooms (there was also a lack of handsoap and papertowels...and working hot water knobs). Also, you better pay the attendants. In a public market, I went to the washroom, didn't see an attendant or a coin bowl, and went in. Some men almost followed me in to the women's room. My partner had to essentially pay them off to make them walk away. That is not cool. Lastly, if you have a hard time looking at stray and injured dogs, don't go to Varadero or Havana. There were lots of strays running in packs over the resort, and some were injured or sick. It's very sad, but as a tourist, there isn't anything you can do. BUT don't touch them.